Before his death in 2010, Twin Cities business lion Win Wallin hoped aloud that the college-scholarship program he started in 1992 would prove his greatest legacy. The Wallin family and dozens of other generous investors continue to fulfill his generous and worthy aspiration.
Wallin Education Partners has aided 4,400-plus college students through nearly $50 million in scholarships and critical guidance services.
Wallin, who focused on community service and philanthropy after retiring from Medtronic, started Wallin Partners with his wife Maxine 25 years ago with several hundred thousand bucks for needy graduates of Minneapolis South High. Wallin graduated from South in 1943.
The Wallin family has donated millions over 25 years and is the single-largest contributor.
Wallin Partners has emerged a significant private funder and adviser to lower-income Twin Cities high school graduates, disproportionately of color, who need financial assistance. Many are first-generation collegians. And Wallin Partners continues to grow in dollars and students.
Executive Director Susan Basil King said 640 Wallin Partners scholars will be enrolled in college next fall.
They will receive $14.1 million, an average of $22,000 apiece, over four years, including a Wallin Partners counselor to help these mostly first-generation collegians.
The Wallin scholars boast a 93.5 percent graduation rate. That compares with about 15 percent for low-income students of color nationally.
“For years the Wallin family contribution has anchored the program, and their significant commitment continues,” King said in a recent e-mail message. “In the new cohort, the Wallin family will support 25 percent of the scholarships with the remaining 75 percent supported by our other foundation, corporate and individual donors. We now have 63 donor partners who are supporting at least one scholar in the program.”
This year, the Wallin family will support 50 students and another donor partner 60.
Wallin Education Partners has awarded scholarships to students from 39 Twin Cities high schools.
More information at www.wallinpartners.org.